Yesterday was one of those days where I found myself falling back into familiar all-or-nothing thought patterns, which often happens when I’m sleep deprived and eating like an asshole, which I have been lately. I figured I’d share my process for working out of the muck.
First, I make a list of all the all-or-nothing thinking. Here’re a few recent gems:
- Today absolutely sucked
- The meal I cooked was terrible
- I’m too old
- Nobody loves me
- My career’s a failure
- I sounded like shit at our last show
When it comes to crippling self-doubt, why mess with the classics, right? After a few rounds of creative profanity, I counter with thoughts that are more in tune with reality:
- A couple of annoying things happened, but not everything’s been a disaster
- True, it’s not the best meal I’ve ever prepared, but it’s edible
- Too old for what? Enjoying friends? No. Making music? No. Travel? No. Loving and being loved? Absolutely not. So, what am I too old for, exactly?
- Bullshit. I have lots of friends and family who care about me. I don’t reach out as much as I could, but I can work on that.
- I’ve succeeded at some things and fallen short at others, just like everybody. But I’m gifted to be able to produce, work and create, so why not enjoy it?
- It wasn’t the best show I've ever played. In fact, it was way below average. But the fans had a great time, and I know how to focus my practice moving forward.
For me, this process isn't about feeling instantly better, but rather allowing a few rays of sunlight to poke through the clouds, which can be all I need.
And I feel it’s important sharing. We’re in this together, after all.